• Desert Diva Rita Tomblin with mentor Nai Palm (MusicNT Adelaide)Source: MusicNT Adelaide
Music NT has today announced the release of the second compilation 'Desert Divas Vol II' - the product of a special artist development and mentoring program.
Emily Nicol

23 Feb 2017 - 3:53 PM  UPDATED 23 Feb 2017 - 3:53 PM

The compilation, officially available on March 17, features eight talented Aboriginal women from the Northern Territory who were each partnered in mentorship with other women currently working successfully in the music industry.

The Desert Diva's program was launched in 2010, with a handful of participants and has since gone from strength to strength, swelling to 20 participants by 2013. The program, which has been run every year since, has uncovered great talent and also been an enriching experience for the mentors who have been involved.

The second compilation album features Eight Divas, each of whom were selected from the past five years of Desert, Saltwater and Barkly Divas programs. Each diva took part in a program of mentoring and skills development, and had the opportunity of recording a song with Anna Laverty, an award-winning producer. 

The artists featured are: Mandy Garling (Darwin), Kiriz Oliver (Darwin), Shannen Rae Cubis aka Shanaray (Darwin), Eleanor Dixon (Barkly), Jillian Moody (Barkly), Bronwyn Stuart (Alice Springs), Cassandra Williams (Alice Springs) and Rita Tomlins (Alice Springs)

The mentors this year featured talent such as Leah Flanagan, Ursula Yovich, Dallas Frasca and Nai Palm, grammy award-winning artist and frontwoman of Hiatus Kaiyote fame. Nai Palm who passed on her knowledge to Alice Springs local Rita Tomlins, spoke highly of the experience to NITV during the program last year. “I’ve never had a musical duckling before, I’ve only been in situations where it’s totally collaborative. But DD is the first time that I’ve been able to hone in on somebody else’s gift and help that flourish without my own ego or creative investment. A lot of her skills are naturally intuitive and it really didn’t take a whole lot of pushing to inspire her to blossom into a receptive student and mega super star. This whole experience has been like finding another sector of my family.”

Music NT released the following statement earlier today. "Today we announced the release of 'Desert Divas Volume II'. The album, available March 17 is a compilation from eight talented Aboriginal women in Australia's north as part of MusicNT's music development program. Celebrating talent from remote communities in the Northern Territory, the Desert Divas program is a unique partnership offering support for Aboriginal women to develop their song-writing skills, learn about all aspects of the music industry and provides a platform to share their individual stories. Uncovering eight talented Aboriginal women to create Desert Divas Volume II, each of the Divas were partnered with mentors including Nai Palm (Hiatus Kaiyote), Leah Flanagan, Dallas Frasca and Helpmann Award winner Ursula Yovich at CAAMA Studios in Alice Springs."